There are different kinds of exams, some are more difficult than others but the same techniques can be used to tackle all of them. No matter how difficult an exam may be, there is usually at least one person that gets a pass mark, that person should be you. The techniques in this article are very practical and they are applicable to any exam at all.
Prepare: prior proper planning prevents poor performance. You should always create enough time and space for your preparation. No matter how easy an exam may be, you still need to be well prepared for it. Exams are meant to test your ability and one of the abilities it seeks to test is your ability to read and comprehend. Never go into an exam hall without absolute conviction that you have done your best to prepare for that exam.
Take notes as you read: there are two major benefits of taking notes. The first is that it helps you to better understand what you are reading. Sometimes when you are writing an exam, you may have totally forgotten what you read but you somehow manage to remember what you wrote. Note taking also makes future reading easier. When you are reading for the second, third or fourth time, all you need to do is pick up the notes you have made and read instead of going through the whole book again.
Understand the marking scheme: this is one thing I try to do before sitting for any exam. You should find out which questions carry the most points especially in cases where you have both essay and multiple choice questions. This will help you to set your priorities right and effectively manage your time.
Believe in yourself: this point cannot be overemphasized. Always believe in yourself and your ability. Your attitude to any exam should be; “if only one candidate will pass this exam, it will surely be me”. This kind of faith will put anything you want in your hands.
Treat past questions: past questions are often repeated in a lot of examinations. But even when they are not, questions are usually set with the same structure every year. Treating past questions will give you a good idea of the types of questions to expect and what to do when faced with similar questions. Another advantage of treating past questions is they boost your confidence. Your confidence increases with every question you answer correctly.
Sleep early the day before the test: I’ve been guilty of this in the past. One advantage of having enough preparation is your mind will be at rest the day before the test. Do all your preparation before that day and make sure you get enough rest on the night before your exam. This will help you to remain alert and fresh throughout your exam and you won’t sleep off in the course of the test.
Time your paper: allocate time to every section or every question as appropriate before you begin writing. One of the common reasons for exam failure is inability to complete the test before time. You can avoid this if you will simply time yourself. It will help you not to spend too much time on any question and it will also keep you on track throughout your exam.
Understand each question before answering: this is one mistake a lot of people make during examinations. Whenever they see a question that looks like something they’ve seen before, they get excited and choose a familiar answer. The difference between two questions may be something very minute like not but that completely changes the answer, I’m sure you’ve been there before. In order to avoid this kind of silly mistake, treat every question like you’ve not seen it before no matter how familiar it may look and make sure you get the correct interpretation before you provide an answer.
Obey examination rules: disobey the rules and get disqualified. You might have gotten away with this many times in the past but don’t forget that “every day is for the thief but one day is for the owner”. The rules are simple, do yourself a favor and stick to them. This will actually allow you to focus better on what you have in front of you rather than turning your head like an antenna seeking signal.
Don’t annoy the examiner: make sure you write clearly such that the examiner doesn’t have to stress himself to see, ignore this and you are in danger of failure. Also, obey simple rules like do not write in the margin and the likes, there are some very angry examiners and you won’t like to be their scapegoat. Before I forget, don’t answer five questions when you are to answer just four. The examiner might think you are trying to play on his intelligence.
You see these are very simple rules but as simple as they seem, they can help you pass any exam. Obey them and you are good; ignore them and be doomed.
Kindly leave a comment below. Let us know what other rules we need to obey and whichever one you disagree with.